This September really felt like a new year for me. For the first time since the surgery, feeling no longer like I was in recovery mode (physically or mentally), and with the kids both in school a bit longer, I faced every stay-at-home mom’s dilemma . . .without really littles ones to take care of each moment of the day, what is my job now?
This week, I’ve been working on filling out all the application forms for schools for my son for next year. And on each one, I’m asked to state my occupation. Hmmmmmmmmm. What do you call what I do each day?
And then, early this morning (5am to be exact), my son came into our room. Finding the Husband still asleep in bed, he asked, “Why isn’t daddy at the gym”. A valid question as the Husband is usually up and out the door long before 5. When I explained to him that daddy skipped the gym this morning so that he could go into work extra early, he asked “Is daddy’s work fun”. In the time it took me to formulate an answer he looked at me and said:
“Mommy, I think you should work at Costco. Or Walmart. Or Starbucks. Because you really like those stores”.
Ok. So on one hand, I am really pleased that at the tender age of 6, my son is abstractly aware that you should, at a minimum, enjoy what you do for work. On the other hand, I’m disappointed in myself in that my son/kids have NO clear understanding that mommy used to have a job just like daddy’s before he/they came along; a job that I loved. (I think I’ll leave the fact that my weekly shopping trips were more likely to be to Holts than Costco or Walmart out though . . .).
And why exactly do I care so much about this??? I think it’s because I want them to know that in life, we always have choices. The Husband and I made choices before the kids came along to ensure that me staying home was a viable choice for our family. I made a choice to find new things that I LOVE to do and that keep me feeling whole as a human without going back into the corporate world. And I especially want them to know that there are no right or wrong choices; in life, all we can do is make the best choice for ourselves given where we are at that moment in our lives.
Which still leaves me unclear as to what I should state as my current occupation . . . oh the choices . . . .
And now for the segue into the recipe . . . the one area in which my children have NO choice is over what they eat for dinner. I do take into consideration their likes and dislikes when I do my menu planning . . . but when one kid could subsist on pasta and veggies alone, and the other on steak and pork products . . . menu planning can get a bit tricky.
So . . . this week, I made a quick and easy meal that satisfied BOTH kids. Meatballs. Because I use ketchup in these meatballs, they are a bit sweet. Yes, they still taste great in a pasta sauce, but they are also great on their own. Which means that I can serve them plain with a side of veggies, and this week, I even made up some pasta (just tossed with olive oil) to go on the side too. My son ate about 7 meatballs . . . my daughter 2. These freeze fantastically – hence the reason I make such a large batch. You can easily halve this to make dinner for the family for just one night. This recipe is based on the meatball recipe from Elana’s Pantry . . .
Easy Baked Meatballs
2lbs ground beef
4tbs dijon mustard
2tbs coconut flour
salt & pepper to taste
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ketchup and mustard.
- Add in the coconut flour and salt & pepper and again whisk well. The mixture will become fluffier the more you mix.
- Add in the ground beef. This is where things get messy – use your hands and combine the meat with the egg mixture until everything is really well mixed together.
- I use an ice cream scoop (equal to about 1/8 cup) to portion out the meatballs on the tray. You could also hand roll the meatballs. And feel free to make them as big or as little as you’d like.
- Bake the meatballs for about 25minutes or until they are cooked through (break one open to check).
*you can get creative with this recipe too – add in garlic or some diced onion/shallot to make it a more traditional meatball recipe . . . and for that matter, you could use tomato paste instead of ketchup.